Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan And Shopping List For New Heart Health And Weight Loss Fad

 @nadinedeninnon.deninno@ibtimes.com on February 26 2013 1:09 PM

By now, you’ve surely heard about the new fad in dieting that reduces the risk of heart disease, not to mention boasts healthy weight loss when paired with exercise: the Mediterranean Diet.

In new findings in a study published Monday for the New England Journal of Medicine, the Mediterranean Diet is a new eating plan based upon the eating habits of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

The plan does not require dieters to buy special foods, but rather entails adhering to a simple shopping list of accepted foods. The diet has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease including heart attacks and strokes and has been associated with a lower level of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Not to mention, drinking wine is not only acceptable but encouraged on the plan, with five ounces daily suggested for women and no more than 10 for men during dinner. Plus, the diet has worked for the likes of Penelope Cruz and Brooke Burke.

Now that you need no more convincing, here is your new grocery store shopping list along with suggested meal ideas and plans for the Mediterranean Diet.

SHOPPING LIST

Foods:

·         nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)

·         extra-virgin olive oil

·         fruit (apples, cherries, dates, peaches, grapefruit, melon, strawberries)

·         vegetables (artichokes, eggplant, celery, broccoli, onion, peas, peppers, sweet potatoes, lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes)

·         fatty fish (oysters, shrimp, salmon, squid, mackerel, mussels, tuna, lobster, tilapia, salmon, flounder) OR poultry (chicken or turkey)

·         legumes

Beverages: any calorie-free drinks including water, flavored seltzer, diet iced tea (with or without a lemon wedge) or diet soda. The diet says to not exceed three cups of (regular, caffeinated) coffee a day or four cups of (regular, caffeinated) tea each day.

Substituting: According to Good Housekeeping, you can switch ingredients that you dislike as long as you adhere to a similar calorie count as deemed by the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

Limit: red meats, dairy, sugary soft drinks, fruit juices, butter, vegetable oil, margarine, eggs, sweets, processed foods, anything with added sugar, grains that are not whole wheat.

MEAL PLAN POSSIBILITIES AND IDEAS

Breakfast:

Pancakes (made using low-fat yogurt, egg and whole-wheat pancake mix, 1 cup of milk and a serving of fruit

Parfait (low-fat yogurt, fruit, granola)

Peanut butter bagel, serving of milk and fruit

Luna bar

Cereal (non-sweetened) with a cup of milk and serving of fruit

Lunch:

Chickpea Salad (chickpeas, olive oil, onion, green pepper, black olives, pepper, romaine lettuce and white wine vinegar)

Vegetable pot pie

Turkey and artichoke sandwich (whole-wheat bread, light mayonnaise, artichokes, reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, turkey breast) and a serving of vegetables.

Pita sandwich (yogurt, cucumber, garlic, tomatoes, string beans)

Pizza and salad (thin crust vegetable topping pizza)

Veggie burger and side salad

Tuna pasta (whole-wheat pasta, tuna, mayonnaise, bell peppers and onion)

Dinner (the Mediterranean Diet allows one glass of wine for women, or two for men, during dinner daily):

Chicken kabobs (chicken breast, fat-free Italian dressing, onion, green pepper, tomatoes, whole-wheat pita pocket with hummus) and serving of fruit

Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich and a serving of fruit

Grilled sea bass and a serving of fruit/vegetables

Lamb souvlaki with couscous or rice

Shrimp salad (shrimp, vinegar, lemon juice, basil, romaine lettuce)

Grilled chicken with Greek salad

Grilled Halibut with brown rice

Spinach feta flatbread (whole-wheat pita, feta cheese, spinach leaves, scallion, lemon juice, red onion, zucchini, dressing and toasted pine nuts)

Scallops and orzo

Snacks:

Crackers, hummus, serving of fruit

Vegetables and dip (fat-free sour cream, chives, zucchini, bell peppers and garlic cloves)

Fruit smoothie (with fruit, fresh juice and light yogurt)

Pita with ricotta spread

Peanut butter and crackers

For recipes and meal ideas, visit Good Housekeeping for more options.

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